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Artist paints giant mural on Mankato grain silos

Guido van Helten has been working on the mural since mid-October.

MANKATO, Minn. — There's a beautiful work of art taking shape in Mankato, all about creating a community that people driving by are compelled to stop and experience. 

You can't miss it because instead of canvas, the artist is using 135-foot tall grain silos. 

"We walk this way just to check his progress,' said Jim Jans of Mankato. 

Guido van Helten has been using a metal basket lift to reach his canvas.

"We think it's great," said Jans. 

Up and down he goes every day.

From across the Minnesota River you can see what's almost like a photograph taking shape.

"Sometimes there's an image that totally works for the space. This was it," said van Helten. 

Guido is an Australian artist and has painted murals around the world including several in the states. Each has a theme reflecting it's location.

Guido says he got the idea for Mankato's mural after attending the annual Pow Wow there.

This is one of his largest paintings.

"She's leading the way and the other kids are moving with her," Guido said describing what he's painted already.

This is also his most challenging, thanks in part to a Minnesota winter.

"I've got maybe another week before I say the weather has beaten me ya know. You have to adapt to the conditions or to the surface," said van Helten. 

You can count on him finishing once spring comes around.

"I want it to initiate an inquiry into what this community is all about," said van Helten. 

The mural is a $250,000 dollar project that was all privately funded. 

You can more information on the project here

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